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Salt Water V8 Rebuild

13722 Views 280 Replies 46 Participants Last post by  Jeremy B
Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Sky

Hello, fellow Audi R8 owners and enthusiasts! My name is Jeremy and I live in central Illinois. I just (Thanksgiving 2022) purchased a salt-water flooded Audi R8, from Copart, after Hurricane Ian. My goal is to restore it slowly and keep it for many years. I am starting this post to network with you “regular” R8 owners, and perhaps a few other ambitious folks who bought one of these, for there were/are several available.
I hope to log here with words and pictures as much as I am able, so bear with me.

Specs: 2008, V8, gated manual with less than 30,000 miles (maybe less than 25k).

Major Damage:
  • Salt! (Yes, into the manifold intake boots of the engine, at least!)
  • Flooded to the roof
  • Interior components, electrical
  • Windshield cracked
  • Minor cosmetic external and undercarriage damage (see video)
  • Broken off water pump
  • Hole in sump cover (the “oil pan”)
Minor Damage:
  • Too much blinker fluid;)
  • Smell (mostly under control)
  • External bodywork, rear right taillight cover broken
Accomplished so far:
  • Seats out with no battery power (that was tedious, to say the least… I might detail in a later post)
  • Some interior pulled
Future Concerns:
  • Electrical components (I already purchased a nice used wiring harness, but…I’m color-blind!)
  • Engine (long list of things, more on that as we dig in)
  • “Burn-out” by an overwhelming list of tasks
  • Frame, drive train, wheels, etc. are straight
  • Brakes work (after a little pumping)
  • Doors, engine bay, and frunk open and close VERY cleanly! Well… the frunk release… well, anyway, as good as can be expected.
  • Ahhh, did I mention… it is a manual! (I don’t know how guys get flood-cars off trailers when they are automatics locked in park, but would love to hear if/how you can.)
  • Ebay, R8talk for parts
  • A great network of folks on R8talk!
My qualifications:
  • Mechanically inclined (sometimes reclined :))
  • General working knowledge of basic components
  • Not afraid to work, or get my hands dirty
  • Not in a hurry!
  • Rebuilt a few motorcycles (race and street)
  • Have some tools, small heated garage
  • I have an excited wife concerning the project (she likes seeing the R8 in our garage :))
My crazy goals:
  • Making the R8 as analog as possible (I hope to remove many “bells and whistles”, if possible.)
  • Starting a video series to tie in vehicle restoration with the Gospel of Jesus’ redemption of mankind.
Advice given me thus far:
  • “I would advise against it.” (direct words of the Copart broker!)
  • “Don’t do it, it will grenade in six months.” (friend who knows the business of cars)
  • “I have Audi-tech friends that have the garage, tools and experience, and even THEY wouldn’t attempt such a feat!” (motorcycle racer friend)
  • “Wow, that’s a big project, if anyone can do it, you can…”
  • “The two best days of your life, the day you bought the boat, and the day you sold the boat.”
  • “If you have the time, you’ll get it done…”
  • “If you can dream it, you can build it.” Requote I heard from Burt Rutan.

Christian, husband, father, Gospel preacher, machinist, author… and now Audi R8 owner… and restorer
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Always appreciate reading your updates. They do, however, make me feel very unproductive and unskilled in comparison! Thanks for continuing to document your experience, it's coming along even though you might not always feel like it - so keep fighting the good fight 🙂
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